Travelzoo has just launched Map the World; a free iPad app designed to inspire children to learn about the world in which they live. Available from Apple's App Store and offered as part of Travelzoo's 15th birthday celebration, Map the World provides a fun and compelling way for children to explore their world using technology.
The new iPad game also introduces players to one of the world's poorest countries, Malawi. Through a giving-back program, Travelzoo is encouraging parents to donate $1 or more to Open Arms Malawi, a charitable organization that provides medical attention, shelter, education, food and love to some of Malawi's 1,000,000 orphaned and abandoned children.
"Map the World is the perfect tool to help children gain a better understanding of where they fit within the context of world geography," said Chris Loughlin, chief executive officer for Travelzoo. "The puzzles create an ideal environment for parents to be directly involved in their child's learning, as well as an opportunity to watch their amazement as they discover things like how big Asia is compared with the USA, and how many countries make up Africa."
The launch of Travelzoo's latest iPad app coincides with the findings of a recent Travelzoo-commissioned multiple-choice quiz involving 3,000 school-age children across the United States, Canada and Great Britain. The results suggest that, while the vast majority of children know their geography, there is room for improvement across the board:
- 20% of children do not know Italy is shaped like a "boot"
- 19% of American and British children think Toronto is a place in Germany, France or Mexico
- 35% of British children do not know that Washington, D.C., is the capital of the U.S.; more than a quarter believe New York City is the capital
- 14% of American children said that Brazil, Australia's Sydney, and England's Yorkshire, Dorset, East Anglia and Brighton, are U.S. states
- 22% of British children do not think Nebraska and Kansas are U.S. states
- Almost a quarter of American and Canadian children think Iceland is a continent
- 32% of British children think the Pacific and Arctic Circle are continents
- 10% of Canadian children think the Caribbean is a continent
- More than 60% of all children believe the Mediterranean is an ocean
- More than a quarter of all children said the Thames River, English Channel or Pacific is the ocean between Great Britain and America
- 9% of American and Canadian children were convinced they could wear shorts and a T-shirt all year round at the South Pole
- A quarter of all children did not think Big Ben is a real landmark, and more than 5% of British and American children believe Hogwarts and Narnia are real
Interestingly, in North America, age played a relatively insignificant role in determining the correct answer. Across the board, 5- to 7-year-olds gave close to the same number of correct responses as children ages 8 to 14; proving that it is never too early to start learning about world geography.
"Travelzoo's Map the World is an excellent tool for teaching children about the countries of the world in an engaging way," said Sir Ranulph Fiennes, described by The Guinness Book of Records as the world's greatest living explorer. "It should help young minds learn and inspire them to explore this magical planet. It's an app designed to challenge, inspire and, above all, make a difference to the lives of others."
For more information about Map the World, or to download the iPad app for free, please visit www.travelzoo.com/maptheworld. To donate to Open Arms Malawi, to help provide medical attention, shelter, education, food and love to Malawi's orphaned and abandoned children, please visit www.justgiving.com/Travelzoo-Open-Arms-Malawi.